During the teenage years, raising multiples can be difficult for parents and for the teenagers. I am an identical twin and my hardest time was in high school but didn’t realize that until a little later in life. The combination of hormones rapidly running through the bodies, family changes or dysfunctions, new academics, social challenges, peer pressure and emotional volatility can be truly overwhelming. Then add on that you have a sibling that is your exact same age, looks like you and going through the same exact challenges.
To further this, they are facing sexual activity, social media pressure, substance issues (like vaping), trying to obtain enough sleep, and potential body issues. To say the least, this is hard for all people involved, parents, teenager, siblings and family pets. I get upset because I think my son is lazy and moody and must stay on him about doing his chores, schoolwork and practice for his sports teams. As parents, we need to keep this in perspective. I hope my suggestions help other parents as they venture through this land mind of a teenager’s life.
- Try not to judge your teenager AND don’t let your twin/multiple do it either or to each other. Life is hard enough, and they need family support and understanding.
- Don’t compare your children, teenagers, siblings, multiples or twins to others. This hurts and I humbly suggest you stop immediately.
- Monitor their social media accounts for sexual content, hashtags to take them to another site and bullying. Use your screen limits to help your teenager. It does work very well.
- Life360 app – a must have for all parents that have teenagers driving. Set it up to tell you when he/she arrives to school or home. Plus, it shows you when they leave school or home and where they have been and how fast they have driven. It’s a parents dream app!!
- We all want to trust our kids a 100% but don’t be naïve – teenagers will push their boundaries. So, stay alert and listen to your teenagers.
- If one twin/multiple/sibling tells on the other one, don’t tell them how you learned that information. Keep your resources confidential. It will help you as a parent and keep the family sane during this crazy time.
- During this time, it helped me a lot to talk with my son, keep my voice level and discuss issues with him. I tend to yell or raise my voice when I get excited or emotional. I have had to work hard not do that because he will shut down. If I keep my voice level and controlled, he will share a lot more with me.
- Let go of the reins some and let your teen mature and become more independent. This is so testing for a parent, but it is the one thing us parents have to do. Let them be independent.
- Be open minded to letting your teen express their self. Such as changing their hair color or cutting their hair. This is the time to let them make the decisions so listen to them and help them make the best decisions.
- Keep in mind, one minute these teens are mature young adults and the next they are acting like kids. This is normal. Let them wade through these planes and figure it out. Their emotions are all over the place, support and help but don’t judge or yell at them for this behavior.
- Let each twin be who they want to be…..let them grow and learn who they are. Believe me, I always felt like I had to be just like my sister. Once I figured out, I never would be – my life changed for the better (and I sure hers did too).
I struggled as a parent not to control every aspect of my teenager’s life, but I will express that letting him learn to be his own person is just as important. Because they are going through so much that I am learning to be more patient and I encourage you to do the same. Being parents of teenagers can be challenging but ever so rewarding when they get through this time. It’s a pivotal time for all teenagers!